Picasso painted this portrait of his new lover, the Surrealist photographer Dora Maar (Henriette Theodora Markovitch, 1907-1997), during their yearlong sojourn at Royan, a small town on France's southern Atlantic coast. As with many of Picasso's depictions of Dora, she confronts the viewer with wide-eyed and high-strung intelligence. Her sparkling eyes compete with the stars on the garish wallpaper behind her, presumably the same paper that decorated their rooms at the Hôtel du Tigre.
Inscription: Signed and dated, lower center: 26.10.39 /Picasso; inscribed and dated on verso in black paint, upper right: Royan / 26.10.39
[Louis Carré, Paris and New York]; [Pierre Colle, Paris]; probably Sidney Janis, New York, possibly by 1946; [Perls Galleries (Klaus G. Perls), New York, by 1965; stock no. 6581]; Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, New York (until 1998; their gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895–1950," March 8–December 31, 2000, extended to January 14, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 113).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010.